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Chapter 377: Just a Traveler Passing Through

A formidable aura surged from Arkhan, then slowly subsided after a moment.

'Anyway, let's start by getting some local information...'

Arkhan began to ponder.

If he remembered correctly, there were three factions in this Singularity.

One was a kingdom led by Ozymandias and Nitocris, another was the mountain people, biding their time in rural surroundings for a chance at rebellion, and then there was the Holy City of Camelot ruled by the Lion King.

On paper, Lion King, with her Knights of the Round Table and Rhongomyniad, was the strongest, followed by Ozymandias with his vast array of Noble Phantasms, while the mountain people were undoubtedly the weakest.

However, he hadn't forgotten that behind these mountain people stood several powerhouses.

They were Hassan-i-Sabbah, also known as the Old Man of the Mountain.

However, the most terrifying existence among them was none other than the First Hassan.

This figure was known for decapitating people at the slightest provocation.

Since there weren't many details of First Hassan's actions at this Singularity, he couldn't gauge First Hassan's true strength.

However, judging from the First Hassan's ability to easily infiltrate Ozymandias's Ramesseum Tentyris, he probably wasn't far from his full power either.

In other words, this First Hassan was likely just like him, descending into this world as a Grand Servant.

Arkhan didn't really want to get into a fight with him. Every Hassan's personality was extremely peculiar, especially this First Hassan, nobody ever knew what he was thinking.

It would be okay if they could talk things out, but if he accidentally angered this old man, he would have a headache.

Being targeted by the ancestor of assassins was no fun at all.

'As expected, let's first try to see if I can contact Ozymandias...'

Even though Ozymandias had a peculiar kind of personality, he was still a better choice.

At least against Ozymandias, he could beat him if something went wrong.

'I just don't know if this guy still remembers me... Although Heroic Spirits rarely remember their summoning experiences, he's still the greatest pharaoh, he should—hmm?'

Arkhan seemed to suddenly notice something. He immediately turned his head to look at a rugged hillside about a kilometer away.

Feedback from Fenghuang Down told him there was an unfamiliar brainwave signal there.

In the next moment, Arkhan's figure instantly vanished from his spot.

'A little girl?'

Arkhan raised an eyebrow, observing a little girl before him, her eyes filled with fear and timidity, tightly pressed against a stone wall.

'Looks like someone just woke up from a nap, huh...'

The girl, around twelve or thirteen years old, seemed a bit malnourished, her body appearing slightly frail. Her clothes were dusty, and her young face appeared disheveled.

She carried a basket on her back and held a sickle tightly in her hand, gripping it nervously as she stared at him.

"Don't be afraid, kiddo. I'm not a bad guy."

Arkhan smiled, squatting down and subtly releasing the soothing energy of Fenghuang Down to calm the girl's emotions.

"Are you one of those people from the city?"

As the tension eased from her body, the girl cautiously asked while still holding onto the sickle.

"From the city?" Arkhan paused for a moment, then realized and shook his head with a smile. "Nope, just a traveler passing through."

"A traveler?"

Curiosity sparkled in the girl's eyes.

"Yeah, the kind who wanders around and helps out people with troubles along the way." Arkhan grinned.

"Helping out with troubles..."

The girl hesitated for a moment, a hint of uncertainty in her eyes.

"Ah, right... My name is Arkhan, by the way." Arkhan extended his hand to her.

After a moment of hesitation, the girl reached out her petite hand and shook his hand.

"I'm Mari."

Under the influence of Fenghuang Down, Mari quickly let go of her guard against Arkhan and happily engaged in conversation with him.

According to Mari, her family lived in a nameless village about four or five miles away. The villagers were all refugees, gathering together to avoid the 'white murderers' from the city.

Mari's ancestors were all healers, and perhaps due to her family heritage, she had some talent in this area too, which was why she had come out this time to gather herbs.

"Just you alone?" Arkhan asked with a raised eyebrow, slightly surprised.

In such a dangerous environment, was it safe to let a little girl go out alone? Didn't her family worry about her?

Mari lowered her head slightly, her expression obscured.

"My family... They were gone..."

Upon hearing that, Arkhan instantly fell silent.

Suddenly, she knelt down, catching him off guard.

"Mr. Arkhan..." Mari lifted her head, her amber eyes pleading. "You said you're a traveler who helps people with their troubles. I... I beg you, can you please help me rescue my dad and the others? I can offer any reward, even myself if necessary! I'm a healer, I can be useful! Please..."

Looking into Mari's tear-stained eyes, Arkhan sighed softly in his heart, reaching out to help her up.

"Don't worry, that's exactly why I'm here."

===

On the way back to the nameless village, Arkhan and Mari chatted a lot.

Although Mari was still young, she was knowledgeable, giving him a clear understanding of this world's situation.

Overall, it was pretty much as he had anticipated.

The land was forcefully dominated by the Lion King's rule.

The so-called holy knights of the Lion King enforced his orders, hunting down people and sending those deemed 'pure and noble in heart' to the Holy City of Camelot.

As for those deemed 'evil and dark in heart', they were mercilessly slaughtered.

To evade these knights, people had to regularly leave their homes and search for hiding places.

Unfortunately, Mari and her parents were caught during one such escape.

To protect their daughter, Mari's father and mother chose to stay behind to hold the knights back. The tragic result was her mother's death, while her father was sent to Camelot.

"I don't understand... Mom is a very kind person. She helped Dad take care of the sick, picked herbs, taught me to read and write, and told me bedtime stories. But why, why did they take Dad and murder Mom..."

"And there's Grandma Vanessa... Her smile was always gentle and every time she made bread, she would share some with the kids who came sniffing after the smell. Everyone loved her, but why did they..."

Watching Mari's trembling shoulders, Arkhan sighed quietly, gently patting her head.

Mari looked up, tears welling in her eyes as she looked at Arkhan.

"Mr. Arkhan, did my mom and them really do something wrong?"

Hearing her question, Arkhan remained silent for a moment before looking up at the sky.

"No, it's not them who were wrong... It's this world."


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